Folk dance ensemble “Gatve” has a long history. It was founded in 1946. The ensemble was named after an old Latvian wedding dance - Gatves deja.

Dance style performed by the ensemble is mainly Latvian folk dance. But „Gatve” is also performing other dance styles and folk dances of other cultures. Repertoire of  the ensemble also includes such dances as Moldavian dance Zhok, Polish dances, Greek dance Sirtaki, dances of ancient Latvians and other.

The ensemble was lead by different art directors during the years. In the early years Gaļina Libere has worked 19 years with the ensemble. Her work is best described with hard work attitude and rare and good gift of giving soul to each movement in the dance. From 1949 the dance ensemble was lead by Zinaīda Sama. And from 1960 the ensemble was lead by students of both Gaļina Libere and Zinaīda Sama. During those times name of the dance ensemble Gatve and its performances came to spotlight of the national dancing culture. Gatve lived through very bright seasons in 1962 and 1963. In these years the ensemble got its name – Gatve. Also then it was awarded the name of National dance ensemble which was only given to dance groups with stable artistic achievements, public activity, versatile repertoire, qualified art director and at least 12 dancing pairs.

During USSR time “Gatve” has participated in numerous events and foreign festivals. It has given performances in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, German Democratic Republic. Several times it has performed in Moscow and the ensemble has also participated in filming of Latvian movies both in Latvia and abroad.

Since 1990 the art director of the dance ensemble is Gunta Raipala. “Gatve” continues to show Latvian folk dance to large number of people by giving concerts and participating in festivals both in Latvia and abroad. In last 20 years „Gatve” has participated in festivals in Germany, France, Bulgaria, Portugal, Lithuania, Russia, Egypt, Great Britain, Hungary, Crete and Italy.

In October 2014 the ensemble participated in Cheonan World Dance Festival in South Korea. In this festival the ensemble won second prize in international folk dance competition. Solo pair from the ensemble was also awarded as The World’s best solo dancers. The ensemble was also awarded for great performance in street parades.
Since establishing of the folk dance ensemble Gatve it continues to participate in the UNESCO awarded Latvian Song and Dance Festivals which take place every five years and unites the best dancers from all over the country and abroad. During these festivals folk dance ensemble Gatve also participates in contests for the best dancing group which take place besides the Dance festival. „Gatve” has historically shown good results in these contests.


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